Contributed by: Andy Gish
The Judies are gone. At least for a long time. They have lost their leader to a 20 year prison sentence and I regret that so many people did not even get to see them perform live. They were a true Atlanta treasure and were likely under appreciated at the time.
They were energetic, creative and an instantly likable - even to this music snob. I had slumped into my normal routine of only seeing bands that I already knew and showing up late to shows, missing the openers. Every time I do this, I know I am missing out. How many times am I going to have to learn this lesson?
So, this particular night I accidentally happened upon The Judies at the Star Bar and was pleasantly surprised. I had known a indie rock band back in 1988 from Texas called The Judys so I was already thinking to myself, "these Judies" better be good. The Star Bar was packed... and not just with people standing around staring at the stage afraid to sway to the music or tap a toe. They were dancing and singing as this very thin and tall lead singer orchestrated the entertainment belting out catchy melodies.
If you saw the Judies live, you know. If you have listened to the songs, you can imagine. If you have done neither of these, you should.
I am not going into the details of the court case and what happened and why the Judies are on an exceptionally long hiatus. Briefly: In 2010, the lead singer Warren Ullom went to prison for his involvement in the death of a woman 2 years earlier that he was shooting up heroin with.
It sucked. It's horrific. But "this" is not about "that". This is about the music and what we are missing now. I appreciate the severity of what happened. I am an ER nurse. Believe me, I know. But I am also a musician and realize that another part of the tragedy is that we have also lost an artist that Atlanta could use.
Great music... sad ending... at least for now. There has been chat of the band playing with a new lead singer but no details or formal plans have been stated as far as I can tell. Those would be some pretty large shoes to fill.
So for now, what we have now are some songs to get to know the Judies by.
And here is an artsy little video filmed around places you will easily recognize as being truly Atlantan and a song that seems kind of sad to me now.
Even though I barely knew The Judies, I miss them.